Saturday, February 12, 2005

The World is Religious

Sitting in Barnes&Noble to study this afternoon, I was struck by how religious our world is. (Of course, that's not news for anybody in tune with Cornelius Van Til, but honestly, how many of us are?) Nietzsche can can say whatever he wants about God being dead, but NOBODY can function as though he is.

Simply looking around from my table in the Barnes cafe, here is what was in my purview:

* When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? by George Carlin. See Acts 10:13-15 for the answer to this question. I don't think that's what George is wondering.
* The Poker Player's Bible. Okay, "Bible" literally means "book," but we still tend to understand the word in its religious, all-time best-seller sense.
* Naked, by David Sedaris. See Genesis 2:25 and 3:7f. Being naked always denotes a sense of shame for us, and the root of that goes right back to our sin.
* The Pleasure of My Company, by Steve Martin. Not overtly religious, but incredibly ego-centric. Instead of worshiping the eternal God, he's turned his worship inward (Romans 1:25)
* Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, by Helen Fielding. I own and have read this book. Bridget spends one chapter talking about how self-help books are her religion - it's a fascinating section in a hilarious book.
* Carter Beats the Devil. I have no idea what this is about, but the cover looks comic-bookish. I've heard people say that one of the Devil's most successful schemes is to convince people that he doesn't exist; the Puritans would agree, and they also saw proving the devil's existence as a way to prove God's existence.
* Valentines' Day ads everywhere. Gag. But it shows the prominence of the human quest for love. If magazines aren't telling us single people how and where to find love, they're telling us how to convince ourselves that we're okay the way we are. As a sidelight, there's also a book that BN is trying to sell called He's Just Not That Into You. Why are women so frequently blinded by their desperation for love?
* An ad for a "Life Coaching" workshop. Tiffany also noted it, and said that it made amazing promises about finding meaning and purpose in life. Who wouldn't want to go for that?
* The Essential Calvin and Hobbes. If I'm not mistaken, the characters were named for John Calvin the Reformation theologian and Thomas Hobbes, a political philosopher from the same era.
* The cafe itself: coffee is practically a religion of its own!
* A couple on a blind date, or at least a first date. Hilarious. Awkward. Tiff doesn't think it will work out because he's too much of a geek.
* Starbucks' coffee ad on my table: "Guatemala casi cielo" - "Almost heaven." The other side had an ad for tea that promised to "rejuvenate, revitalize and restore." Get me some of that tea!
* Some Kind of Miracle. What kind? Even if you think miracles don't exist, why do you keep using the language?
* Travel Guide to Disney World: casi cielo?

No comments: